Have you ever pushed a crosswalk button a thousand times because you're in a hurry and you're concerned it "didn't take?" Today, in Toronto, I pushed a button and it lit up to tell me, "Hey, yes yo...
Effective communication has always been about providing others with fast, easy access to relevant and accurate information in a timely manner and appropriate tone. We just tend to overlook some opportunities where that might be appreciated - like the crosswalk button.
Ubiquitous internet connectivity and information overload have changed the landscape of brand and customer communications forever. For stats fans, that
An interesting read - but at the end of it, I am left wondering "Has anything really changed?" We still need to know our audience so we can create and deliver relevant messages and offers so they will notice us, give us some time to prove we can help etc. Then it's all about engagement - sharing information to become better aware of each other and decide if there is the potetial for mutual benefits.
What has changed? More channels. More crap in the way, distracting our target audience from us.
Maybe the biggest change is that the buyer is becoming increasingly numb to all the content thrown at them...I mean, who doesn't have a couple of white papers availabe? So capturing their attention is more difficult because of the noise and the challenge of finding the best media. (In the B2B world, I am seeing a lot more success with direct mail and cold calling than search and content marketing.)
What do you think? Anything in this article really stand out?
Learn 5 great tips for converting more leads with email marketing. Email marketing remains one of the most effective communication vehicles...
Nice post...I would have suggested the following:
 Good list.  Relevant and motivating messaging and offer.  Clear presentation (so it is clear what you want them to do and why it benefits them.)  Testing strategy (email, landing pages - test creative, message, offer).
Couple of things to consider. First, when the study reports that "...only 45% of customer enroll in loyalty programs...", ask "who was invited to enroll?" In the old days, some would on;y invite those that met certain criteria and avoided those that failed to meet that criteria.
Second, what is 'loyalty'? Is it that they continue to buy from you - or is it that [ex] you are their primary solution provider and you get 90% or more of their annual spend?
Third, the most popular channels for reaching consumers are....but are they the most effective? Are they popular with the program members or your staff? (I belong to several programs and get direct mail with special offers that motivate me to buy a whole heckuva lot more than the daily/5x per week emails.)
Fourth, what's the plan for motivating under-performers into etremely loyal customers? Think of this as a graph where one axis is amount spent or percentage of annual purchase, and the other axis is the amount of time they have been your customer. And through segmentation, you have identified buyers that are like your best, most loyal customer that are under-performing. What are you going to do to capture more of their business?
If you have any questions, reach out and ask me. If I can answer them, I am always happy to do so.
Ever feel like you’re being watched online? Never mind the NSA and political fall-outs due to revealed data-storing plans and spying – I’m talking about the kind of “creepy marketing” that marketers are accused of by consumers.
Two things here...check out the first bar graph and tell me if you see anything in there that has dramatically changed over the past 5-10 years. Same channels are trusted...so how has sales changed again?
Second thing, regarding the entire subject of collecting data...honesty really is the best policy so be clear, open, honest and upfront. Will you encounter people that miss the message and are "surprised"? Sure. But overall, this is part of the conversation you have with your audience...you ask, and when they answer, you need to capture it and use it and remember to reconfirm it every so often so you can update your database.
Big Data is a meaningless term that attempts to describe what we've spent years doing: putting data to work.
From the article:
"The question I would like pose is—why call it “Big Data” at all, what makes it big? Rather why not call it just “data” or “Information” as aren’t we just talking about different sources and extracting value from the combination of these sources? Aren’t we trying to find patterns to build models, identify risk, understand intent and sentiment and develop networks?"
netflix has transformed from a distributor like time warner cable into a personalized service that gives subscribers access to content they want.
The headline seems a little misleading when most of the article focuses on new products (original content like House of Cards), increased PR and a $222 million expenditure on measured media. But near the end they start scratching the surface on data mining - the implication being that it is positively impacting retention by driving activity with recommendations driven by data mining.
Bottom line is that data is going to help your organization better understand your audience and allow you to send the right information and messages/offers at the right time - and that's going to mean a lot more to your audinece than that one size fits all weekly sales flier.
Think about that for a moment - don't you prefer receiving relevant information over the same ol' same ol'? So why not make that extra effort to show you care and that you are trying to add value to the relationship?
"If you asked 50 digital marketing professionals to finish this statement, Content Marketing is... you might get as many different definitions."
Okay, first and foremost. Marketers can be incredibly stupid. And one great example is how we create new names for old stuff. Content marketing is one great example - because marketing, specifically promotions, was always about delivering the right message and offer (content) to the right person at the right time via the right channel in order to motivate the right response or action.
Somewhere, a writer came up with "content marketing" so I can bill more hours and now marketing departments are supposed to be publishing departments in media companies. And that's crap.
Okay, putting that aside - read this article, take out the jargon, and tell me what I described above is different from this:
Content marketing is the planned creation, promotion and optimization of brand stories designed to create useful and meaningful experiences that attract, engage and inspire a target group of customers from awareness to purchase to advocacy.
Okay, let's not argue over semantics. The real question is how are you creating useful, meaningful experiences that attract, engage, inspire a target group of customers from awareness to advocacy?
How do you measure the impact of your content marketing efforts? How do you know that Content A is designed for Persona C at the Awareness Stage of the Buying Process? And that Content C is for Persona A at the Purchase Stage?
Because if you can report those metrics, you can't identify what works and what doesn't so you can make moifications and improve.
So how will you make all this happen in 2014? That requires some planning, some research, and a process for monitoring performance so you know what can stay as is and what needs to be modified. You need to know your Personas so you can plan the content appropriately rather than trying to make one size fit all. And you need a process for getting feedback so you know why somethings work and others don't.
Digging through bits and bytes to find information that can be used to grow your business, improve service, or reduce costs is not for the weak of heart. Contradictory opinions about the importance and how to use data are everywhere.
Actionable. Interesting. Not suitable for work.
I love it.
But I would add that "Actionable" doesn't mean "roll it out" or "drop everything and start doing it this way". What it means is test. And it means test because you want to make sure your analysis really is correct.
Now, some of you might be rolling your eyes and thinking that's too slow, too cautious and you don't want to miss an opportunity. Well, you can roll it out and make the change happen now...just monitor the impact and have a plan in place for [a] explaining the changes to all impacted so they understand why and what is going on, and [b] shutting down the new approach (exit strategy) in case it doesn't work.
What's your reaction to analytics, especially how to implement recommendations that come from the analysis?
While in college, psychologist Eleanor Longden sought help from a psychiatrist as she tried to deal with symptoms of schizophrenia.
Confirmation bias is something to be aware of so that you can avoid it - but also remember that you still need to test what you believe you learned via research before rolling it out to the world.
The author mentions a real-world example with a CEO selling commodity products at higher prices by differentiating with service and quality - and then, evidently, they jumped into the market with low pricing and got smacked around. Fortunately, it sounds like they were quick to learn from the low sales and were able to change their pricing. (The more common reaction would have been to hang on to the stragegy, repeating '...the research indicated low price would work...' as the ship sank.)
Research is important. Analysis requires a little bit of science and art. And recommendations should be tested in the market in order to confirm your analysis and recommendations.
What are your thoughts? Have you survived similar experiences?
"It's no longer a question of whether technology plays a role in marketing; it's about what role the CMO needs to play in selecting the best solution to drive marketing and overall business success." So begins the latest Forrester report, The CMO's...
Bottom line - technology will continue to play an important role in your organization's ability to capture and analyze data that will drive important decsions. And the truly successful organizations will get passed that childish territorial crap of "whose data is it" and focus on "how the organization as a whole can work together more effectively so that technology delivers its full benefits."
I have seen too many examples of IT buying technology for marketing because "...that's our job..." and marketing buying technology "...because IT isn't responsive enough and doesn't understand our needs..." - and they have pretty much all crashed and burned.
How does your organization's leadership team work together on these issues? Check out the article for some damn good suggestions...
Yes, big data is all the rage and incredibly powerful. But when it comes to customers, data and insight are not the same things.
Short and simple. Clear and concise. Data is important. Actual insight is the key. It's great you know that your audience is 35 to 54 year old females...it's critical to know that within your audience are two key segments - one that buys to decorate their homes and another that buys your products as gifts. This impacts your product offering, packaging, pricing, promotion...
Are you going that extra level and getting this type of insight from your audience? If not, what's stopping you?
Movable Ink has released a "Q2 2013 US Consumer Device Preferences Report" [download page] examining the devices consumers are using to read their emails. As part of the
The following two factoids jumped out at me..
"62% of B2C emails in Q2 were opened on a smartphone (48.1%) or tablet (13.8%)."
"According to the results, a majority 53.3% of Android Phone users who open emails on their device spend more than 15 seconds reading them. The corresponding figure for desktop readers is 36.6%.
The researchers speculate that the longer time spent by Android phone users is due to emails not always being automatically reformatted for them, as they are on iOS devices. As a result, Android users may spend more time scrolling in and around images that they load on their devices."
"It only takes $5 to $10 to reach an average of 1,000 viewers in digital marketing; compared to $10 – $487 in its traditional counterpart. A stark 99 percent difference, it makes CEOs think why they haven’t fired yet their marketing manager for investing in direct mail, which by the way only provides 44% open rate. A study done by eMarketer in 2012 also revealed that more and more advertisers are investing in Digital Media as time goes by. For instance, in 2012 alone, an average of 22.5% US companies spent advertising in the aforementioned; and this trend is projected to grow up to 29.2% come 2016."
I strongly disagree with this and here's why.
I've been measuring traditional campaign performance for 30 years so I don't buy the 'easier to track' argument.
What I have experienced is younger, less experienced marketers that cut their teeth in PPC/SEO/Email show their ignorance concerning how to track traditional marketing. (One explained that using unique toll free numbers was too expensive at $2000 per number per year. Unfortunately the actual cost is about $100 per number per year, on the high end.)
And as for the low cost per lead, there are too many out there confusing an inquiry with a lead which drags the CPL calculation down. I prefer looking at the cost per sale - it's more relevant anyway.
Don't get me wrong - digital marketing has it's place but traditional is not dead when used correctly.
According to Forrester Research, U.S. e-commerce sales are expected to hit $370 billion by 2017 – that’s 10 percent of retail sales.
I’ve been involved in marketing for more years than I sometimes care to admit – but to give you a hint, it was in the early days of “1 to 1 marketing is key”. And over the years, the technology has been there to offer relevant, personalized content – within certain parameters and under certain limitations.
That’s just going to require marketers to do a better job of segmentation, developing accurate personas and then thinking about (and testing) messaging and offers as well as presentation.
It can be done. It takes some time to develop the personas, messages and offers as well as the test plan.
My hope is that this becomes a huge area of differentiation for businesses in the coming year…because the data is there, it just needs to be put to work.
Most companies have reams of data they could be using to impact future customer messages, offers and calls to action. But most of those companies either don’t use that data, or don’t realize it exists in the first place.
That’s part of the problem Lattice Engines is trying to solve. Brian Kardon runs marketing at Lattice, and was also the CMO at Eloqua in it’s early hockey-stick-growth days.
Check out the entire article (link below) - it's short, sweet, clear and insightful. The key takeaway is that you have a lot of data and are scratching the surface of its potential.
How do you take advantage of your data - a little common sense, creativity and the right data. And if you're not comfortable doing it yourself, it's not that expensive to bring in a skilled data analyst for a brief consultation.
Generating a strong return on investment requires marketing campaigns that deliver more revenue than costs, new customers that become lifetime buyers, and messages that motivate the current customer base.
A great series of simple questions that should be asked and (correctly) answered before kicking off any campaign. (I might reword the 2nd question and focus on the projected response rate being acceptable - this, for me, is extremely important in early stage lead generation campaigns when your goal is engagement and motivating buyers to take the next step in their buying process with your firm.)
"Marketers from smaller companies are taking greater advantage of modern marketing techniques and are more reliant on key digital marketing activities than marketers overall, according to a study by BtoB"
Understanding what's working, what isn't working - it's critical to leverage technology for capturing and analyzing data. So, I took this article as a good sign...and that there is an openness to outsourcing in order to get the expertise as needed (and a affordable) seems like a great example of working smarter and outside the box in order to leverage resources.
So, how are you leveraging tech to help identify what is working and what isn't working? And how are you turning that insight into action so you can modify, improve?
"We’re pretty keen on optimal timing for social media here at Buffer, and I figured it was high time I collected ...
There's a lot of great information in this post so instead of me trying to condense it...print it out and find a quiet place to read and then spend 5 to 10 minutes to soak it in and figure out how it can improve your efforts.
Your CRM system can be a blessing or a curse for your sales force, depending on how you use it. If you find your CRM strategy is more focused on your own sales targets rather than customer goals, it's time for a change.
"Here's the big mistake that most companies make: They tell salespeople to focus on the customer. Yet [their CRM system focuses] more on internal metrics and pipeline management. The result is mediocre sales behavior," Lisa Earl McLeod, a sales leadership consultant and author of "Selling with Noble Purpose"
This is a common problem - overlooking what the salesperson needs to be as effective as possible goes beyond internal metrics and pipeline management data.
What are their goals? What is their fiscal year? What are their buying criteria?
Fixing this takes interaction between sales and marketing (and maybe IT, depending on who is responsible for your CRM) but it can be accomplished. Just remember that it's an on-going process and that you need to make sure that you are addressing key pieces of data rather than "John wants this and Mary wants that..." because then you're going to be wasting time and money capturing data that has limited to no value over the long-term.
Marketers consumed by Big Data may get distracted from their necessary focus on data quality.
It takes resources to collect and analyze data. And it wastes resources when you start collecting and analyzing data that really isn't what you need in order to answer the questions you need answered.
That's why I strongly recommend that you start off with a serious discussion with a cross section of your leadership team in order to identify the questions you want answered, the data needed to answer the questions and the sources that are acceptable to gather the data.
What you want to avoid is the arguments, the disagreements that come from not having a process in place for data analysis. They waste valuable resources. They cause 'analysis paralysis'. The cost your business the opportunity to grow.
And, yes, your questions will change over time. And the data you need will change over time. But it's better to have had the process in place for working across departments/silos and coming to an agreement on what the questions are, what the data should be and how the data will be gathered from acceptable sources.
Marketing automation seems to be all the rage, but will marketers use it for what it is intended, or muck it up, relying on lazy practices and ruining what should be a perfectly brilliant tactic.
Jason Fall, the author of this piece, raises a key concern - people buy from people and automated messages will never replace real human interaction.
So what's the solution? Well, start with getting as deep into your audience as you can in terms of segmentation and buyer personas. Create your communications based on those personas and where the individual is within their buying process - because a price sensitive consumer in the gathering information stage has different needs than a consumer driven by quality in a later stage.
Then, remember to integrate channels so that a few days after the email, a phone call from a member of your team is scheduled. (And use that opportunity to ask questions, gather information and provide clear answers...this is a great opportunity to gather more insight that will improve the next exchange.)
So what are your feelings about marketing automation? Any concerns? How are you leveraging technology to build stronger, longer lasting relationships?
Working on a project where the data reporting is less than ideal can impact your ability to make solid data-driven decisions.
For all you marketers out there...pay attention to Tip #1 and, if you really are a marketer, go for it. If you're not really a marketer, you will be focusing on how many characters are in the subject line of that email. Or if the landing page has an offer you think is strong (but not because of your audience insight).
Here's the deal...marketers know that knowledge is power. And to gain that knowledge, you need to gather the right data and do a great job at analyzing it so you can make better informed decisions. You test. You measure. You analyze. You modify. You do it all over again.
It's hard work. It's not all that glamorous. But it does generate more profitable revenue.
Converting the data in your systems into usable information is the first step toward harnessing big data. Begin small with the data that is easily accessible and expand as you learn what works and doesn’t.
Skip past all the Target related narrative and get down to the 4 examples of the data you need to grow your business.
You want to know where your customers are coming from - meaning where they came from in order to make their first purchase with your company. That helps you improve lead generation campaigns.
You want to understanding your customer buying behaviors - how do they buy, when do they buy and what they are buying. That helps you improve targeting (media), messages and offers.
You want to understand the quality of service because great service increases retention and referrals...bad service increases attrition while eventually impacting your ability to attract new customers.
Now, the last bullet point addresses something near and dear to my heart - RFM analysis. I wish I knew what the author wrote what she wrote...and I agree that everything should be tested before rolling out. But I haven't had issues with RFM that were anything less than successful...
So, in conclusion, here are 4 simple ways to use data to improve your business - and any/every business can do these things. The key is starting off with this as your end game so you can capture the necessary data...then, running the reports should be simple. If not, hire an analyst to help set these reports up for your business...it's an investment that will pay off quickly.